John Romita Jr and Eddy Barrows join Suicide Squad

That’s the headline news. From issue #11 the next arc of Suicide Squad will have Romita Jr drawing the main storyline. Comics royalty.

I’ve been reading and enjoying Romita’s comics since his Amazing Spider-Man run in the early 80s – Hobgoblin etc – and then he came on to Uncanny X-Men at the time it was probably my favourite comic every month. He’s done iconic work wherever he’s gone. His Daredevil: Man Without Fear, where he was inked by Al Williamson, is one of my favourite comics. That sequence where a young Matt Murdock waits in the boxing ring for revenge on his father’s killers? That’s some serious comics.

So, yeah, getting to work with him on Suicide Squad is a treat. This following on from Jim Lee. <engage Larry David mode> Pretty, pretty good.

That’s Lee Bermejo’s alternate cover for #11.


“BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE” part one! Spinning directly out of the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD! Hidden somewhere deep within, the world is a burning flame. Its light is blinding. Its heat is deadly. It’s a fire fueled by hatred, by rage and by vengeance. Used, abused and left for dead, the greatest foe the Suicide Squad has ever faced returns, more powerful than ever, to burn down the world Amanda Waller has given everything to protect. 

See if you can spot the running joke that’s amusing me if no one else, where Boomerang keeps reaching for metaphors but can only compare things to different types of boomerangs… “It’s like a… slightly straightened boomerang.” I believe he compared something to a big meat boomerang recently.

It’s like Proust, this stuff.

Richard Friend’s inking John on the new storyline, and Dean White’s colouring. I’ve loved Dean’s work elsewhere, most recently on John’s All-Star Batman run, and the Suicide Squad pages look amazing. Looking forward to showing them off asap.

Also joining us for this arc is my excellent Martian Manhunter collaborator Eddy Barrows. Eddy’s been doing Detective Comics of late and I think his work’s actually got better – and he was crazily good on our tales of Mars.

Have it, Supes.

As good as these guys are, running through the proof of their first issue yesterday, you’re struck just how strong their storytelling is. I’m used to this quality with Eddy from our past work, but it’s the first time I’ve worked with John. It’s dynamic visual storytelling at its best. Everything’s so clear, the actions of the characters so well defined. That can easily get lost in a team book like Suicide Squad. But these guys make it look easy.

As for the storyline for this arc, we’re following on from the Justice League vs Suicide Squad storyline, with some serious repercussions – which you’ll also see in Suicide Squad #10, out next week, with art by Guiseppe Carafo, co-written by Si Spurrier.

#10 is a real look into Amanda Waller’s family and past, and what she’s sacrified to fight the war she’s waging. It has its roots back in the Ostrander McDonnell Suicide Squad stories from the 80s.

That’s the trade paperback cover for the first Jim Lee Suicide Squad collection, out March 1st. There’s a couple of signings in the works, which I’ll write about when I can. But the TPB also has the Personnel File stories drawn by Gary Frank, Jason Fabok, Ivan Reis and Philip Tan. It’s going to be a beautiful-looking collection.

You can buy it from Amazon here:

Next event I’ll be at is the 2000AD 40th Anniverary comvention in London on February 11th, where I’m on a panel with Al Ewing and Emma Beeby and will have a table I’m sharing with Laurence Campbell. Hope to see you there:

Full line up and schedule here:

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